Ecdyonurus criddlei with parasitic Symbiocladius

Mark Melton

Active Member
These nymphs were collected in Mill Creek which empties into the Russian River. The Symbiocladius are members of the fly family. They attach themselves to the Ecdyonurus nymphs as immature pupae and go through their life cycle attached behind the wingbuds. They feed off the blood of the Ecdyonorus. The Ecdyonurus nymphs are usually unharmed although they they may not become adults. Symbiocladius are also known to be parasitic on Rhithrogena and Paraleptophlebia. Some more photos and information can be found here: http://pte.au.poznan.pl/ppe/PPE1-2007/285-291_Gilka_i_in.pdf

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Gyrfalcon21

Active Member
Really neat stuff ! Reminds me of a scanning electron microscope class I had way back. You prep/dust everything up with fine gold powder and eventually start zooming in. We were looking at an ant. We zoomed in on it's antennae. Higher and higher power, closer and closer. Finally,we found another creature living on one antennae ! It was tiny. So we zoomed in on that thing and looked at it's antennae.

Mind blown.

Crazy details and one of those moments you lose track of scale.

Mind-boggling stuff once we get a closer look at things. Everyone should have a binocular microscope.
 
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Mark Melton

Active Member
I absolutely enjoy your posts & photos, but when I read the title of this one, my first thought was: "I hope I never get that!" :eek: Seriously, this one is interesting indeed. Ma Nature sure can be specialized . . .
Really neat stuff ! Reminds me of a scanning electron microscope class I had way back. You prep/dust everything up with fine gold powder and eventually start zooming in. We were looking at an ant. We zoomed in on it's antennae. Higher and higher power, closer and closer. Finally,we found another creature living on one antennae ! It was tiny. So we zoomed in on that thing and looked at it's antennae. Mind blown.

Crazy details and one of those moments you lose track of scale.

Mind-boggling stuff once we get a closer look at things. Everyone should have a binocular microscope.
Yeah, this is one of those chance discoveries that send chills up your spine. I didn't really know what I had until I got a look at the nymphs under the dissecting microscope. I was still at a loss as to what kind of parasite it was until I found this while looking at BugGuide: https://bugguide.net/node/view/249229
Once I knew what it was it was easy enough to find other information on Symbiocladius.
 

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